Thank you everyone for joining us for our latest café ‘What’s bugging the bees?’ with Dr Rosemary Malfi! We had a lot of great questions that brought up some resources we would like to share with everyone.
What effect does Copper Sulfide and other pesticides have on bees?
- This compound is considered to have low toxicity based on lethal dosage studies performed in honey bees (there is a nice summary of toxicity of various agrochemicals from Michigan State Extension https://www.canr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/Minimizing_Pesticide_Risk_to_Bees_in_Fruit_Crops_(E3245).pdf ). However, there appears to be at least one study (from Brazil https://entomologytoday.org/2016/04/11/study-shows-leaf-fertilizers-to-be-toxic-to-stingless-bees/ ) showing that solitary bee species may suffer greater impacts with oral exposure (e.g., eating it). Unfortunately, toxicity classifications are almost always based on what is lethal to honeybees, which likely do not represent the sensitivity of other species. With all that said, there is always a balance we are trying to strike between protecting pollinators and protecting our crops from pests and disease. Applying copper at times when a plant is not flowering and applying it in the evening will help to reduce direct exposure of bees to this compound.
How can we help Pollinators?
- Umass Extension: http://ag.umass.edu/resources/pollinators
- Xerces Society: http://www.xerces.org/
- Western Mass Pollinator Network: http://www.wmassbees.org/
How can I safely get rid of carpenter bees without using dangerous chemicals?
- The soda bottle traps are quite effective.